How To Kill Your Brand
How to kill your brand: Not a topic usually considered by marketers.
I am thinking about how the streaming-content channel YouTube Red found itself needing to change its name. As brand names go, it wasn’t awful. YouTube has enormous name awareness. It IS the world’s second-most visited site, after all. And red’s a pretty color. Plus, you know that somebody decided each new product YouTube rolled out could be a new color. The site for home repair? YouTube Steel. The site for gardening? YouTube Green. The site for wine? YouTube Burgundy.
But what the folks at YouTube apparently missed was that there’s a website called RedTube. Turns out the digital content at RedTube is pornography. You can imagine that wasn’t in the PowerPoint presentation that got the green light for YouTube Red. Consequently, the folks at San Bruno opted for the duller, but more descriptive, YouTube Premium. So now you know where to go for Cobra Kai. Click on, click off.
Therefore, the first rule of branding is to not sound like a porn site. That’s something a billion-dollar company should have known. And yet, there are Magnum condoms and Magnum ice cream cones. Yeah, get those images out of your head.
We all know that it’s enormously important to have the right name for your brand. Sometimes your customers help. We all visit McDonald’s (although I stay away) and we all know how to pronounce “Target” with a soft “g.” Sometimes those who don’t use the product build your brand – you’ve surely heard the car popular with people trying to save the planet being called the Toyota “Pious.” Maybe those names weren’t chosen in a boardroom, either, but they refine customer perception of those brands.
It may be time for Howard Davidson to roll out some aptly named brand extensions. (He might also consider refraining from referring to himself in the third person. One challenge at a time.) Do you mind being my focus group?
For my marketing strategy business, what do you think about Howard Davidson MS? Howard Davidson Strat Stat? Howard Davidson Strategery?
For my lead generation work, what do you think about Howard Davidson Scores? Howard Davidson Incoming? There’s always Howard Davidson Converts!
There’s also my social media work in need of branding. Howard Davidson Viral? Howard Davidson Respondent? Howard Davidson Engagements?
Maybe I’ll just stick with what I’ve got.